Social Media Bans Are More About Opinion Than Misinformation
Admit it, we all thought it and now we have confirmation. For years we've suspected that all the major social media platforms took direction, if not orders from government officials and political parties. Not to mention corporations and the socially elite. It's more than obvious and has been for a very long time.
Awhile back the White House press secretary stated that they were in regular contact with various social media companies and advising them on what they deemed as misinformation. Going so far as to flag posts, videos and other statements that should be removed.
The U.S. Surgeon General offered up a report that expressed the dangers of misinformation and urged all platforms to administer suspensions, bans or other consequences to users who ignore platform policies when it comes to misinformation. Even President Biden took a turn scolding social media platforms by saying due to the spread of misinformation they're killing people.
All platforms are engaging in censorship, or what they call the fight against misinformation, from Facebook, Twitter to YouTube. I realize these are private companies and can do whatever they wish when it comes to their policies and even censorship. So they can and do trample on other's First Amendment rights and free speech is non-existent or heavily regulated on their sites. It's their platform and if you want to be on it you have to abide by their rules. However, when the government attempts to restrict or prohibit speech that's entirely different. By advising these companies that's exactly what they're doing.
I fully understand the need to police the online community and users of these platforms and agree there should be things you can and can't post or share. But, we've gone from a common sense approach to if there's a difference of opinion, ban. Sure fake news and misinformation needs to be identified and dealt with.
Then there's a big part of me thinks if you're dumb enough to believe everything you see and read online you deserve what happens to you. After all these are platforms, not publishers. The liability for what's posted is on the user, not the platform. Or at least that's the basics of it.
Recently I've had several friends and family members get suspended or banned for sharing opinions ranging from COVID-19, vaccines, gun control and all kinds of other hot button issues. So "misinformation" bans are subjective at best. These certainly weren't deliberate attempts to spread misinformation, they were opinions or even questions they were seeking answers to. It's amazing at how a differing opinion or view can quickly become misinformation, especially if facts and independent thought are used instead of emotions.
These days all you have to do to catch the ban hammer is express a different opinion. What started as a way for people to share openly has quickly become think as we think, or else. Controlling the narrative and flow of information and ideals while suppressing, more like deleting, opposing points of view accomplishes nothing. The most popular opinion online is only most popular because no one heard anything different.
Which is the way they want it...